The Phillies Nation Top 100: #10 Dick Allen

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, February 20, 2014 08:00 AM | Comments: 8
Features, History, Phillies Nation Top 100 - 2014

The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #10. Our mission is to assess the Top 100 Phillies players of all time using impact to the Phillies, individual achievement, team achievement, traditional stats, and analytics as our criteria. The list was compiled by Ian Riccaboni and Pat Gallen with input from the rest of the Phillies Nation staff. 

From this point forward, each weekday, we will reveal two Phillies from the PN Top 100 in separate posts. To view the players listed thus far, please click here. To view the 2008 iteration of the list of Greatest Phillies of All Time as compiled by Tim Malcolm, please click here.

Please check back this afternoon for #9.

#10 – Dick Allen

Years: 1963-1969, 1975-1976

.290/.371/.530 with 204 HR, 86 SB in 4511 PA

Previous Rank: 7 (-3)

fWAR Phillies Rank: 10th among position players, 14th among Phillies

1964 Rookie of the Year, Three-Straight All-Star Selections (1965-1967)

Bursting on to the scene in 1964 with one of the greatest rookie seasons of all-time, Dick Allen was one of the most feared hitters of the 1960s. Allen hit an incredible .318/.382/.557 in his rookie year of 1964, leading the Major Leagues in runs scored and triples, while his 8.3 fWAR is fourth-best among rookie years, ever. During the Phillies’ historic collapse in 1964 where the Phillies blew a 6.5 game lead with 12 to play, Allen hit .429/.462/.796 with 5 2B, 2 3B, and 3 HR.

During his first stint with the Phillies, Allen would hit .300/.380/.554 with 177 HR and 64 SB. During this stretch, Allen led all Major League third basemen in batting average, SLG, and OPS, ranked third in OBP, HR, and runs among all third basemen, and fourth in RBI. Allen would make three-straight All-Star teams from 1965 through 1967 and started the games in ’65 and ’67. Despite his successes, Allen would lead the league in strikeouts in 1964 and 1965 and led the league in errors committed in 1964 and 1967.

Even though Allen was mashing baseballs on a regular basis, Allen would face frequent racist comments and objects thrown at him from the stands while at third base. Allen also reportedly hated the nickname “Richie” and got into a fist-fight with teammate Frank Thomas in 1965 where it is believed that Thomas hit Allen with a bat during an exchange where Thomas was believed to have made racist remarks toward Allen. For all Allen went through, Allen maintained his status as an elite offensive third baseman of his time.

Allen would miss a twi-light double-header with the Mets after reportedly spending time at a horse race in New Jersey in the morning. Following the 1969 season, Allen would be traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in a mega-deal that would land the Phillies, among others, Tim McCarver and Curt Flood, who would refuse to report to Philadelphia and accelerate the birth of free agency. Allen would wind up as a first baseman with the Chicago White Sox in 1972 and win the AL MVP.

In 1975, Allen would be traded to the Atlanta Braves from the White Sox but would not take the field for the team before being traded to the Phillies on May 7, 1975 with Johnny Oates for Barry Bonnell and Jim Essian. Allen would hit 27 HR and 23 SB with a .248/.335/.424 line between 1975 and 1976, helping the Phillies reach the playoffs for the first time since the 1950 World Series.

Allen, who was also a successful lead singer with the group The Ebonistics, still ranks among the top hitters in Phillies history. Allen ranks ninth in team history in HR, 19th in runs, 19th in RBI, fifth in SLG, and 12th in OPS. Allen was one of baseball’s best hitters for the first seven seasons he was with the Phillies and earns his place on the Phillies Nation 100 for his ability to crush baseballs.

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About Ian Riccaboni

Ian Riccaboni has written 892 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ian's athletic achievements include getting stuffed by NBA center Aaron Gray in high school and hitting .179 over four years for NYU against D-III, NAIA, JuCo, and NCBA schools. Ian hopes his athletic successes will help him achieve his dream of becoming the underground Bob Uecker.

  • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

    I remember as a young teen going to Connie Mack with my dad and how exciting it was anticipating Allen coming to the plate. ( along with Callison) There always was a certain buzz with every plate appearance by him. Everybody in the stadium knew he was special. Just the thought of him crushing the ball the way he did was worth the price of admission. I remember the same feeling with the Bull and Schmidt. Players like them don’t come around often. I also have the same feeling with a Howard at bat.

  • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

    One of my most vivid memories was when he came back to the Phils and literally crushed two screaming meemies off Dodgers pitcher Doug Rau. I was sitting on the 3rd base side and when he hit the ball it looked like it was only high enough to go over Cey’s glove at third and it left the field so fast when it hit the tarp in left the whole place sounde a loud “thump” And he did it again later in the game against Rau. It was truly an amazing show of power. A straight as an arrow bolt , I still stand amazed to this day at that memory cause I can’t recall ever seeing that again.

    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      I’ve told my Allen story here before but this seems like a good time to bore you with it again.

      For the Cliff Note version to spare those of you who already know it….

      I was forced to leave a game with the Phils behind by 3 runs going into the bottom of the 9th (my friend was driving). We had found street parking right next to the stadium on Somerset (behind the left field bleachers and turned on the radio just in time to hear the the bases were loaded and Allen was at the plate. All I could here was the roar of the crowd as we pulled out of our space, He crushed a ball over the damn roof. I managed to twist my neck around just in time to see it land in the space our car had just vacated. The ball continued to have a life of its own as neighborhood kids tried to keep up with the bounces.

      Allen was a charter member of an elite group of superhuman NL power hitters of that era; Willies McCovey and Stargell rounded out the big three. Allen was electric and the anticipation in the stadium was palpable every time he came to the plate.

      No other Phillies player that I’ve watched in the last 65 years has produced that intense a vibration through a crowd. Schmidt was close but it was also different. Hard to explain to those who missed experiencing it, first hand.

  • Posts: 212 photoFred

    Avatar of photoFred

    Awesome slugger, athletic but error prone third baseman, and a man who reportedly refused to put up with the lingering Jim Crow of the 1960s. For me, he’s one of those “what if” guys. What if he played now instead of then? Did the racial tension of the times motivate him or cripple him? We’ll never know.

  • Posts: 0 mudmin

    Curt Flood played a whole 13 games after that garbage. How’d that work out for him personally?

    …not that I’m opposed to Free Agency…just kind of offended he refused to come to the Phils. Kinda like how we still boo all the Drews.

  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    I admired Allen’s power, talent and plunk, He hit the ceiling of the Astrodome with a shot during its first year. His homers were electric. He could have been one the the greatest of all time if other issues did not interfere with his game. He was fun to watch. As a kid on a visit to Connie Mack Stadium, I walked near the Phil’s dougout in the grandstands . The man was an adonis with huge forearms and shoulders. He was taking a break during the game to have a smoke. I yelled over to him to say hello. He waved back at me. I was in seventh heaven. I remember that day as clear as a bell. What a day for a 13 year-old Phillies fan.

  • Posts: 17 whizkidfanatic

    Avatar of whizkidfanatic

    Dick Allen was the first bigtime AA super talent in the Phillies organization. Young, intelligent and incredibly gifted, he shunned the spotlight but it shone on him anyway. After the 64 swoon, he began to receive the Del Ennis Syndrome treatment from the fans. He couldn’t do enough to satisfy them. It became more than he could handle and he reacted at times immaturely no question. He was however, a decent, likeable guy who continued to grow as a person and talent. A class act.

    His second time around with the Phils was a nice “prodigal son” type return. His work in the organization after retirement as a player has been terrific and he is without question an alltime Phillie great

    He attended Robin Roberts funeral in Temple Terrace, Florida and I was reminded of the close bond between the two. Roberts had befriended him in his first spring training camp after he signed. At the time Roberts carried a lot of weight in the organization and Allen never forgot how Robin’s kindness had eased his fears and opened some doors for him.

  • Posts: 0 derekcarstairs

    Allen was the greatest offensive talent to ever pass through the Phillies’ system. Yes, better than Mike Schmidt.

    Allen is a border-line HOFer, but things could have turned out much better.

    Allen had a drinking problem, a couple of serious injuries, and a rebelliousness that harmed his career. If only …

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